IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Marketing woos prison site developers

06 October, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

HOLLOWAY Prison – once the largest women’s prison in western Europe – is now an “exceptional development opportunity”, according to property agents.

GVA Bilfinger, acting on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, has stepped up its advertising for the prison site.

Its brochure and website boasts that the site has “the potential to deliver a significant residential development of perhaps over 1,000 apartments” with “unparalleled freedom to create a truly outstanding addition to London” – but there is no mention of affordable homes.

Islington Council says planning permission will not be given unless half the homes are “genuinely affordable”.

Neither is there mention of public open space, play space and a women’s building, as specified in the council’s draft planning document, which has the support of the London Mayor’s office.

Rebecca Roberts, of Community Plan for Holloway, said: “The Ministry of Justice have been clear that their main concern is profit, rather than considering the needs and views of the community.

“Community Plan for Holloway is working with local partners to ensure everyone’s voice is heard.”

On Saturday, more than 150 people attended an open day organised by Community Plan for Holloway. Labour leader and Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn spoke at the event, highlighting the huge potential to create affordable housing at the site.

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